Transform Justice has published a new report looking at how the criminal justice system responds to incidents of domestic abuse. The report argues that there is limited evidence to suggest that criminal justice sanctions stop perpetrators from reoffending in the long-term, and questions the government's current focus on harsher sentences and more restrictive civil orders as a way to protect victims.
Although acknowledging the mixed evidence around their effectiveness, the report points to the potential of perpetrator programmes as an alternative approach to changing the behaviour of offenders and calls for increased efforts to evaluate their performance and expand the use of those that work.
For cases where prosecutions are in the public and victim's interest, the report calls for improved support for victims to prevent cases collapsing, and also argues that specialist domestic abuse courts should be 'reformed and revived'.
The MA's policy team will be producing a more detailed report on the proposals shortly.